Farthest I will be sprinting is till 2018: Asafa Powell

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) Star Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, who has broken the 10-second barrier more times than anyone else — 98 times — on Friday said he is not sure about his career lasting till the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The 33-year-old, who held the 100-metre world record between June 2005 and May 2008, with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds, hinted that the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia may be his swansong.

“I am not thinking about 2020 right now, the farthest I will be going is 2018, maybe the Commonwealth Games and that’s where I see myself, just two years and not 2020,” said Powell, who is in the city as the brand ambassador for Sunday’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon’s (ADHM).

Powell, however, refrained from commenting on the recent rise in doping sagas, putting the onus on the federations to find a solution.

“The federations need to ensure that sports remain clean. I think the federations are doing their job and its really upto them and the media to really solve that problem,” he said.

“It’s not my job to say whether it is right or not. The federations are the ones in charge and they should be doing their jobs. I am sure they are fixing all the problems,” said the sprinter, whose personal best of 9.72 seconds is the fifth-fastest time in the history of the event.

Powell, who was part of the winning 2008 quartet in 4x100m relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said the competition in track and field is growing with each passing day.

“In Rio 100m finals,there were six runners who ran under-10. Currently there are so many people who can run sub 10s,” he said.

“Sports is evolving. The athletes are getting more technical. The coaches are doing a lot more. The sport has come a long way. Eight athletes in the finals who all were capable of going sub 10s.”

“A lot has changed and it’s going to get better and better as we go further. We know guys from all over the world who can run sub 10s, may be we will have guys from India who can run sub 10s soon,” he added.

Powell represented Jamaica in the 100m at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, where he finished fifth in 2004 and 2008, and was eighth after pulling up injured in London 2012.

On being asked where would he want to get to his 100th sub-10, the sprinter said: “It depends where my next competition is. I would love to do it in Jamaica, not much sure if it’s going to be take that long.”

A Jamaican in India can’t escape from a cricketing question, and when asked on swashbuckling West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, Powell said: “Cricket was pretty much No.1 sport in Jamaica back in the days.”

“All the great cricketers, like Chris Gayle has done well from Jamaica..its still big, its still doing great but now track and field have also changed a lot and I think its gonna get better and hopefully people can pay attention to all the sports,” he said.

–IANS

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